Stanley Adams


1927 –


Who is Stanley Adams?

Stanley Adams is a former pharmaceutical company executive and corporate whistleblower, whose case was a cause célèbre in the 1970s.

Born in Malta as Stanislao Formosa, he changed his name to Stanley George Adams by deed poll on 12 May 1950. Adams was a senior executive with the Swiss pharmaceutical company Hoffmann-LaRoche when in 1973 he discovered documents which indicated that the company was involved in price-fixing to artificially inflate the price of vitamins. He passed on the documents to the competition commission of the European Economic Community, aware that Switzerland, while not part of the EEC, had a free trade agreement with it.

The EEC failed to keep his name confidential during its investigation, passing documents containing Adams' name to Hoffman La Roche. Adams was arrested and charged with industrial espionage and theft. He was held in solitary confinement for three months. Adams' wife was told that he faced a 20-year jail term for industrial espionage. She committed suicide. In the end, Adams served six months in a Swiss prison. When released, he fled to the United Kingdom and, with the assistance of a number of Labour Party MPs, notably John Prescott, later deputy party leader, he attempted to recover compensation from both the Swiss government and the European union. In 1985 the European Union agreed to pay Adams £200,000, about 40% of his total costs. He documented the saga in Roche vs Adams.

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on July 23, 2013


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